Sino technicians expect to boost tomato production in Pakistan – Latest News – The Nation

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BEIJING – Compared to wheat, cotton, canola or beans, tomatoes require more fertilizer. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potash fertilizers are all essential. In addition, zinc, boron and other micronutrients can improve growth. This means farmers have to spend more to grow it.
dr Syed Ahmad, senior scientist at the Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad, noted in an exclusive interview with China Economic Net that the tomato price in Pakistan has fluctuated very frequently in recent years, which is beyond our control. If the price fluctuates too much, the low price will lead to big losses for farmers, which will severely dampen their enthusiasm and consequently lead to a drop in production. In general, April to May marks the start of the tomato peak season in Punjab, the largest tomato growing region. But this year I’m not sure. dr Nadar K, senior scientific officer at the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), pointed out that tomatoes in Pakistan have a total annual production of around 529,600 tons and an average yield of 9.2 tons per hectare. The downward trend in the prices of tomatoes, which are an indispensable part of most of the country’s dishes, has been evident in Sindh province since early January.
Muzzammil Aslam, spokesman for the finance minister, also noted in January that the retail price of tomatoes in Karachi, the country’s largest consumer hub, had fallen to 35 rupees. So what caused it? The reasons for the inequalities are complex. Although it is farmers’ decision what to grow and how much, at the government decision-making level we lack an institution or system to provide macro-level policy guidance to farmers to avoid blind planting, abandoning a particular crop, which leads to yield fluctuations, stressed Dr. ahmad If the farmers’ donations bring good yields after a year of hard work, they would be disappointed and limit their planting, and Pakistan has to import many tomatoes, which are a must in most of the country’s daily dishes.
In addition, the lack of advanced agricultural technology is a key factor affecting tomato production in Pakistan. Growing tomatoes on ordinary land is affordable for most farmers. But if you’re using hydroponics or soilless growing, it’s going to cost a lot, said Dr. Ahmad to CEN. He believes that if a low-cost hydroponic or soilless culture technology can be introduced in Pakistan to ensure farmers’ input-output balance, it will be an excellent opportunity for cooperation. Currently, 13 varieties of tomatoes are grown in our industrial park, of which TOMIMARU and DRC564 have the highest yields, with the yield per square meter reaching 40 kg and 60 kg, respectively. In addition, they have a beautiful fruit shape, long shelf life, and strong disease and insect pest resistance, said Zhang Lin, head of Shaanxi Yangling Aoda Modern Agricultural Technology Co, Ltd, during an interview with CEN to promote the development of the Park to a higher level, we will actively consider launching international cooperation plans such as talent export, technical cooperation and exchanges with other countries, especially countries along the Belt and Road.
According to Zhang, Pakistan faces problems such as delayed agricultural modernization, low levels of mechanization and confusing use of fertilizers and pesticides, all of which have also emerged in China. Promote soilless cultivation, improve stable facilities, select excellent varieties, and strengthen water and fertilizer integration, each link of facility agriculture is closely related to yield and quality.
Nowadays, our greenhouses are equipped with facilities such as umbrellas, thermal curtains, heating pipes, high-pressure sprays, circulation fans, temperature and humidity sensors, and irrigation systems to collectively regulate the planting environment in the park, Zhang analyzed that Yangling is in the arid and semi-arid areas of northwest China, which is the same like Pakistan are facing water shortages.
In response to this problem, the park employs a combination of groundwater and tap water irrigation, collecting groundwater and also designing a 3,000 cubic meter reservoir to collect rainwater and purify it as an irrigation reserve. As another major factor limiting tomato production in Pakistan, pests and diseases, Dr. Ahmad also points out that late blight and tomato virus diseases can lead to a sharp reduction in production, while major pests such as the cotton bollworm and leaf miner can cause major damage to the leaves, flowers and fruit in the growing season.
In this regard, Zhang introduced a combination of physical and chemical control measures, focusing on prevention. At the same time, in order to avoid affecting soil quality, the use of various chemical fertilizers and pesticides should be minimized, and key prevention should be carried out at the early stage of pests and diseases based on past planting experience and climatic conditions. For pests and diseases, the combination of drug spraying and fumigation is relatively efficient.
In my opinion, the tomato value-added products must be our top priority when working together. If Chinese and Pakistani investors can cooperate in the field of value-added products, our main tomato growing areas like Punjab will sell tomatoes in bulk during peak season, which will inevitably lead to price decline. If tomatoes can be bought at a reasonable price and processed into by-products, farmers will not suffer any losses at that point, suggested Dr -round industrial modernization of Pakistan’s tomato industry.

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